Feeling a sense of unrest, having a cloudy mind or an inability to find a sense of peace are all signs of instability. Something is out of balance.
Balance is what life is all about. It results in harmony, happiness and stability. We source our security from having a sense of balance, being grounded, secured and able to handle adversity. From balance comes sustainable growth and the ability to handle whatever comes your way.
As humans, we are always trying to find some sort of homeostasis. I’d like to explain this through a tool which I call the balance pizza. Life is made up out of different areas and together they form the balance pizza of life. The pizza slices represent the parts of your life and the topping are the things, people or activities you fill that area with. Everyone can fill this in a little differently but your pizza could look something like this: work, health, friends, soul, me-time, family, creativity. For me, the soul slice symbolizes soul sessions where I have deep conversations with friends, read articles about personal development, make vision boards or pray and spend time with God. My toppings on the me-time slice could be going for a walk, reading a book or painting my nails.
It doesn’t really matter what your slices or toppings are as long as the areas of your life are in such a proportion to one another that they build each other up. Having deep conversations with friends that inspire you, going for a run to stimulate creativity and having healthy relationships that keep you motivated.
You can create your balance pizza from two perspectives. The first one is by looking at how much time you spend on a certain area. What do you spend most of your time doing?
You can also look at your pizza from a quality over quantity perspective: categorize the slice size according to what you value most. This is sometimes contradictory to the previous perspective. Comparing the two pizzas, from a time point of view and a value point of view can give you an indication if you are spending your time wisely.
Instead of looking for happiness by trying to experience intense highs find your rhythm and source calmness from stability. It is not about how intense your high is but about your life’s continuous rhythm. That flow, like in a song, is the baseline that sets your foundation. Your base is rooted in a focus point. Those of us who have done yoga before know how important it is to have a focus point when you are in dancer’s pose. Being busy with a lot of things but not having a sense of focus is like being a tree without roots. You are going to waver, loose your balance and fall over at some point. Evaluate what or who is your focus. What is at the center of your life? Is it you or your work? Is it your family or a friend? And are you happy with your center?
So, what if you have created your balance pizza and you are happy with it? You have a clear focus point and you feel like the areas of your life are in harmony. There’s that done, right? No. Because it’s life, you’re never done. Change is the only security we have. And change does not mean you are out of balance. Stability does not mean immobility. You actually need to keep moving if you don’t want to fall, like on a bike. Naturally your balance pizza also changes throughout the years. You lose friends and you gain friends. Before you might have loved to run and now you like yoga. Or you might have played the piano all your life and now you knit to express your creativity. Also, it is important not to fill your whole pizza up, leave room for a slice of adventure and top it with impulsiveness and improvisation. That’s probably the nicest slice of all.
Photography by LYD.